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How to do an excellent writing paper for IB Spanish SL and HL

As you may know for the IB Spanish writing paper you must choose between 5 topics. These topics are always the same so make sure you are well prepared for at least 2 of them so you have different options to choose. What things to consider:​

  1. You need to know enough vocabulary on the topic. You must be able to make a list by heart with at least 30 words specific to the topic you are writing. For example if the topic is health you must be able to come up with words like “pérdida de memoria” (memory loss), “cancer de pulmón” (pulmonary cancer), “sobrepeso” (overweight) or “dieta equilibrada” (balanced diet). This will help you to in two ways. First you will have more ideas on what to write. Second you will show the examiner that you know very specific vocabulary on the topic.

  2. Make sure to include enough tenses and make sure you conjugate your actions properly. A good idea is to write each paragraph in a different tense so that the examiner sees clearly that you are using a wide variety of tenses and at the same time you make sure that every single action in that paragraph is conjugated on that tense so it is easier to avoid mistakes. You can start one paragraph with “Hoy en día…” (Nowadays…) and you express the idea in present. Another paragraph can be “Antes tenía un amigo que…” (Before I had a friend that…) so you use imperfect tense.

  3. Don't forget to have at least 1 subjunctive at the end of every paragraph to reinforce your ideas. Examiners love seeing subjunctive tenses in your assignment. You can just add up subjunctive with formulas like “Entonces es positive que + present subjunctive” or “Por eso sería una buena idea que + imperfect subjunctive”.

  4. Leave some time at the end for revision. Watch out for gender agreements so make sure that your adjectives match the nouns. Check that all your actions are in the right tense and the right person. Make sure you included the format that they asked you to write. Does it look like a letter? Or does it look like a speech? Avoid using phrases or words that you never used and you copy them from English and make it look like it’s Spanish, this trick very seldom works.

Good luck to all our students taking IB Spanish!

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